A mere taste of a traditional Milanese dish and you are already in Milano, with its thoughts, moods, characters and its inhabitants ready to pass on philosophy and culture through its food.
Some aspects of the city’s traditional cuisine, that identify themselves with certain flavours and even colours, have not only resisted the assaults of fashions and the trends of the moment, but have come out the other side even stronger.


The famed Risotto alla Milanese, incomparable and divine, with its splendid and inimitable yellow colouring, is delicate and sophisticated and even profound and intense in taste, as though it reveals its own very characteristic Milanese trait.
Then there are the dishes that warm you up, dishes of “survival”, for those who were obliged to stay out in the cold, or do laborious work and needed to consume vast quantities of calories. These are the cassoeula, a casserole with meat and vegetables, ossobuco and even minestrone, rich with vegetables and intense in flavour. 


Here you can find the traditional dishes and the recipes to cook them at home.

Costoletta alla Milanese

Also known as cotoletta (cutlets), from the French côtelette, this is one of Milano’s oldest traditional dishes. It is mentioned in a document from the year 1148 preserved in the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio.

Risotto alla Milanese

The secret of this traditional Milanese dish resides in the simplicity of its ingredients that come together to create a flavour that is refined and velvety. Saffron is the very ingredient that gives this speciality it precious colour.


Thirty centimetres tall and mounted by a dome, the typical Milanese sweet has predominated on the table at Christmas from the 15th century because of its softness and elegance. In the past, it was a typical Christmas sweet used exclusively by the Milanese and today it can be found on tables throughout the world.


Ossobuco (marrowbone) is a typical speciality of Milanese cuisine, and is often served on a bed of yellow Risotto alla Milanese. The name comes from ossbus, which means a ‘bone with a hole’ in the local dialect and refers to the cut of veal that is used: a slice of the shin in which the round section of bone is surrounded by tender meat. 


Cassöeula is the elaborate, high-calorie dish made from pork and cabbage that best typifies Milanese cuisine. Its strong, decisive flavour makes it a real winter warmer of a dish.


Empty or stuffed, sweet or salty, the michetta has an easily recognisable taste, that of genuineness and tradition. It is a typical puffy panini that is usually empty inside and has a star-like shape. 

Minestrone alla milanese

The original recipe for Minestrone alla Milanese cannot easily be found because in the past, when vegetables where rigorously seasonal, the ingredients varied depending on the seasons. Therefore, hot minestrone made in winter is prepared with ingredients different from those used for the cold or tepid soup in summer.


Mondeghili, known as polpette or meatballs outside of Milano, were described as “a kind of polpette made with ground beef, bread, eggs and similar ingredients” by Francesco Cherbini in his Milanese - Italian Dictionary (1839).


A drink with an intriguing, almost mysterious name, the “Barbajada” is actually and quite simply named after its inventor, Neapolitan Domenico Barbaja.

The drink was invented in the Café “Cambiasi” that was located next to the La Scala Theatre (and was also called Caffè del Teatro or Theatre Café) and it was the meeting place for singers, musicians and spectators. The inventor, Barbaja, was a waiter in the café.

Rostin nega’a

“Arrostino annegato” (literally “little drowned roast”) is the Italian translation of this dish. It refers to a veal cutlet that includes both the fillet and the sirloin still attached to the bone.

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